Tag Archives: Qin Leng

A Family is a Family is a Family













A Family is a Family is a Family

by Sara O’Leary, illustrated by Qin Leng
Groundwood Books, 2016

In a classroom setting, a teacher asks students what they thought made their family special.  One girl turned red and worried that her family was not like the others. Then one by one, each child shares what their family is like and, of course, some are giant, some are gay, some are deep, some are multi-racial, some have disabilities, etc.  She was finally able to share that she has a foster mom.  A gentle, safe exploration of how so many families are different.  Charming, educational, sweet, without the slightest hint that the reader is ‘learning’.  Lovely book.

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Song for a Summer Night, A Lulluby













Song for a Summer Night, A Lulluby
by Robert Heidbreder, illustrated by Qin Leng
Groundwood Books, 2015

Award-winning children’s poet, Robert Heidbreder writes a soothing, calming story poem, perfect for a nighttime read. This quiet poem is wrapped in Qin Leng’s beautifully-rendered illustrations of joyful children savoring the delights of a summer’s evening.

Written in gentle rhyme, Song for a Summer Night includes song-like repetitions of night sounds.  The ‘glint-glint’ of the fireflies, the pring-pring of bellflowers, and the ‘scratch scratch’ of baby skunks.  Children look out their windows at the night skies and then run into the meadow to feel, stare at, and listen to the night creatures and quiet.  When it’s time to go in:

They slip into beds,
Eyes shut sleep-tight.
They know singing dreams
Will ring round them all night.
pring pring

The story suggests the soft strains of the night sounds carry the children through the next day’s play.

Qin Leng’s ink and brush and digitally painted fanciful scenes bring a quiet beauty and peace to each scene.

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And What If I Won’t?

what if











And What If I Won’t?

By Maureen Fergus, illustrated by Qin Leng
Owlkids Books, 2015

A cleverly funny story featuring one boy’s vivid imagination.

Mom asks her son to put his plate in the sink.  He asks, What if I won’t?  She says she would tell him that’s rude.  The boy asks what if he threw it across the room.  She says he would have to clean up the mess.  What if I made the kitchen a bigger mess?  Back and forth the two go, using wilder and wilder situations to make things worse and worse.  When he ends up on a foreign planet and even the aliens send him back home, it all returns back to the mother and son together and she says she’d ask him to put his plate in the sink.

A rollicking fun read kids will love!

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Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin
by Chieri Uegaki, illustrated by Qin Leng
Kids Can Press, 2014
2015 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award

A story of a gentle spirit who creates a brilliant way to succeed at her dream, despite her newness to the craft.

After three lessons on her violin, Hana decides she want to be in the talent show.  Her brothers laugh at her and say she will be a disaster.  But inspired by her grandfather, a 2nd violinist for a great symphony orchestra in Japan, she pursues her dream.  She remembers her grandfather’s beautiful music she woke to each morning when she visited him last summer.  She also remembers the fun sounds her grandfather made in the evening for her brothers and her.  She practices and practices for the show.  The day of the show she is scared.  Thinking her brothers were right, she wants to turn into a “grain of rice and slip between the floorboards.”  Imagining her grandfather sitting before her for support, she shares with the audience music they can enjoy and she can perform, even as a beginner. Everyone enjoys her performance.  When she and her family return home, her brothers ask for an encore!   Find out what she does to succeed as a beginner!

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